Board of Trustees Seeks Provisional Member

El Vaquero Features Editor

Due to Kathleen Burke-Kelly’s resignation the Board of Trustees held a special board meeting Friday where they unanimously decided to appoint someone into the vacant position as opposed to having a special election.

The board has 60 days from the date of Burke-Kelly’s resignation to fill the vacant seat and the process of appointing someone will cost under $10,000 as opposed to the $100,000 it would cost to hold a special election.

The appointed trustee will be in office until the April elections and if they wanted to remain on the board they would have to run for office, like all other candidates. This is only due to the fact that Burke-Kelly had been a board member for almost three and a half years and would be up for re-election, board terms are four years, otherwise they would finish however long was left of her term according to Armine Hacopian, the new president of the board.
During the meeting the board also decided on their new hierarchy since Hacopian assumed the position of president, as she was the vice president, a new vice president needed to be chosen, Victor King was voted into that position and because he was the clerk they voted Vahe Peroomian, who will be up for re-election this April, to fill that position.

Hacopian suggested a process similar to the endeavor the school put forth in finding the new superintendent/president Audre Levy, as the school’s prior administration had no set procedure on how to handle this type of situation. The board agreed to the suggested procedure. which can be found at length on the board’s Web site off of GCC’s official site.

“My goal is for the next 60 days to have a very fair and equitable process, to have a highly qualified cadre of candidates to apply for the position and to have the processes open and as equitable as possible,” said Hacopian.

The assistance of Community College Search Services, which is a small company made up of five retired community college presidents/chancellor, will again be acquired. They have assisted in over 50 searches for community college presidents, including the search for Levy.

Jim Walker, who was one of the two consultants that worked with the board and search committee during the superintendent/president search, will be the consultant working with the board and the paper screening committee in the search for a provisional trustee.

“This is not an employee hiring process,” said Hacopian. “This is a public office process and this is a board process. In the past the board was really never involved, things just happened. And thank goodness Dr. Davitt did everything right, that we appointed the right people but this really needs to be a board process.”

“The prior administration didn’t make it a priority to clearly spell out the process to the public and to the college community,” said King. “The process just sort of happened and sometimes people didn’t even realize that the process was underway.”

By tonight the paper screening committee should be formed, it will consist of seven representatives from different college constituencies, the Guild, Senate, California School Employees Association, Administration Management, Garfield Campus, Classified Management (Public Safety) and a Student Body Representative.

Following the formation of the committee, the members will meet with Walker by Oct. 13 to train and make a plan as to who they will be screening the applicants.

Applications for the position are available online or in the office of Human Resources and by the Oct. 13 all applications must be physically received by Human Resources.

The allocated time line is as follows: Up to six candidates will be chosen, by the paper screening committee, by Oct. 20 for the board to review.

On Oct. 24 at 1 p.m. an open public forum will be held, the location of the forum will be decided on at a later time and at 5 p.m. a special board meeting will be held so the board can interview the candidates.

And on Oct. 30 another special board meeting will be held for the board members to vote and appoint a new trustee.

“We are in uncharted territory,” said Levy in regards to the process that the board is taking to appoint a new member. And Levy would not be surprised if other boards adopt a similar procedure in the future.

“It shows a real change in the past decade that we now have an open process with interviews,” said King, who has been on the board for almost 10 years. “Anyone can look at this literature that we’re going to be generating and know exactly what stage the appointment process is going to be at.”